Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~ William Arthur Ward
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unikids hands

UniKids, a 501©3 non-profit organization in
Louisville, KY, provides gently used and
new school supplies to students in
orphanages and under privileged families in
developing countries.
Our Mission:
To provide new and gently used
school supplies and educational
materials to students in
developing countries.
To foster a strong relationship
between schools/students in
developing and developed
To ensure that grade-level
students in developing countries
are equipped with the educational
materials they need to enhance
their daily school activities.
By check
Payable to UniKids Inc.







Dear Supporter:
In January, we began contacting schools, organizations, and
individuals to support us with our school supplies collection drive. In
the last months, several of our supporters donated school supplies
and made monetary contribution. Thank you.
We would like to express our gratitude to the following who
participated in the school supplies collection drive:

  • Our Savior Lutheran School
  • Christian Academy of Louisville
  • Monroe County High School
  • Individual donors
  • Progressive Insurance Company
  • Accuserv Equipment & Supply, LLC
  • The Glenview Trust Company
  • Havana Rumba Restaurant

And we are very thankful to you, our individual supporters, who help
us keep on moving forward. It is an incredible feeling to know that you
can make a difference, even if you think it is minimal.
We are expanding globally and we are very pleased to report to you
that this year’s school supplies recipients are students served under
these organizations:
World Changers’ Academy - The Gambia
Michael Lapsley Foundation - Ghana
Kids International Ministries - Philippines
We continue to collect school supplies throughout the year. If you have
any used or new school supplies to donate, please contact me
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call/text: 502.235.8682, or UniKids Facebook
We appreciate you!!!

 Senait Mareligne and UniKids Team


We have shipped!!!​! - Unikids (School Supplies for Orphanages​)

It has been a long awaited process. We have been collecting gently used and new school supplies for the past two years with the desire to bring excitement to students who are not fortunate enough to afford school supplies. We finally fulfilled our desire on August 2013.

Through the partnership with Kids International Ministries (KIM), we arranged to ship to the Philippines. The schools, sponsored by KIM, in Manila host about 450 students who are orphans or come from low-income families. We were glad to have shipped 1,150 LB of various school supplies to help these students with their educational needs. The school supplies were delivered in October.

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  • You made it happen – our supporters!!!
  • Kids at school
  • Students opening the school supplies boxes
       We will continue to work hard in fulfilling our mission of providing school supplies to students in orphanages and low-income families in developing countries. Thank you for your continued support!


Spring & Summer 2016


Dear Supporter of Under Privileged Students,
Our spring and summer school supplies collection drive was very successful through the participation of individuals, schools, and organizations. Our storage is filled with boxes and bins of new and used school supplies. Music to our ears!!! 
This year, our goal is to ship to 3 developing countries and to reach about 6,000 students all together. We are very thankful for the following schools, organizations, and individuals who made it happen.
      • Our Savior Lutheran School
      • Christian Academy of Louisville
      • Yum! Brand Inc. - organized by Hamza Agallah 
      • Louisville Classical Academy - organized by Kristina Ballou 
      • Charlestown, IN school - organized by Jennifer Koves Swanson
      • Bethany Maynard - her child’s birthday wish list was to collect school supplies
      • Brenda Hart
      • Yipsy Aleman
      • Gosia Gralak
      • School in Montreal, Canada - organized by Diana Proulx
      • NileAd.com - organized by Tariku M. Asress
      • Monroe County High School - organized by Shari Froedge
      • Indiana University Southeast - organized by Kimberly Pelle
Our main fundraising effort is to have enough funds to cover our estimated shipping and handling cost. On average, we spend around $1,500 to ship school supplies to one country alone. We rely mainly on individual donations and organizations’ sponsorship to help us reach this goal. 
Here is how to donate at least $20 towards reaching our goal and providing school supplies to students in Ghana, The Philippines, and Ethiopia. 
By check: Payable to UniKids Inc - Mail to: 10416 Sandbourne Way, Louisville, KY 40241
We hope you will help us reach our goal in bringing smiles to about 6,000 students in orphanages and low-income families in developing countries. 
For the fifth year in a row, our collection drive has been successful mainly because of the willingness of our community to come together and to see these supplies benefiting students in orphanages and low-income families in developing countries. 
Thank you for making this year very fruitful!
With best wishes, 
Senait Mareligne
Director/Founder - www.unikids.org

Our Mission:

  • To provide new and gently used school supplies and educational materials to students in developing countries.
  • To foster a strong relationship between schools/students in developing and developed countries.
  • To ensure that grade-level students in developing countries are equipped with the educational materials they need to enhance their daily school activities.

IU Southeast celebrates Non-Traditional Student Week with Ethiopian coffee ceremony, school donations

(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—In the Adult Student Center, November is time to wake up and smell the coffee—authentic Ethiopian coffee, that is.

The Center is inviting one and all to a genuine Ethiopian coffee ceremony, on Thurs., Nov. 10 from 3–5 p.m., in University Center, Room 206.

Ethiopia is the historic cradle of coffee, and the ceremony honors traditional Ethiopian brewing and social customs.

The coffee ceremony combines three rounds of brewed coffee with food such as popcorn, peanuts or cooked barley. Over the past five years, the ceremony has become a tradition for the Center, a fun and social celebration of its collaboration with UniKids Inc., a Louisville, Ky.-based nonprofit that provides school supplies to children in developing countries, including Ethiopia.

During the entire week, “leftover” or gently used books, binders, backpacks, highlighters, rulers, pencils and other school supplies will be received from IU Southeast students, faculty and staff and donated to UniKids. The donation station is a table near University Grounds, in University Center. (A donation box is also located in the Adult Student Center year-round.)

The collection and the ceremony form IU Southeast’s celebration of National Non-Traditional Student Week. Sponsored by the Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education (ANTSHE), it is a chance for the organization’s member schools—including IU Southeast—to recognize and honor non-traditional student success across the United States and Canada.

“Many of the members of the Non-Traditional Student Union are older and have children, so a mission which supports children is important to them,” said Kimberly Pelle, non-traditional students program coordinator and director of the IU Southeast Adult Student Center. “We’re all on board with supporting education worldwide, so we have a dual connection with UniKids.”

Senait Mareligne with children in Africahttps://now.ius.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Nontrad4.1-300x168.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 650px) 100vw, 650px" style="margin:0px;padding:0px;font-style:inherit;font-variant:inherit;font-weight:inherit;font-stretch:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit;font-family:inherit;vertical-align:baseline;display:block">

Senait Mareligne (r) with recipients of donated school supplies in Africa. Photo courtesy of UniKids Inc.

The founder and director of UniKids is Senait Mareligne. A native of Ethiopia, Mareligne solicits the donation of new and gently-used school supplies from area institutions, and coordinates the mailing of these items to schools and charitable organizations in countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau and the Philippines, as well as schools in Louisville that have this type of need, such as West End School and the West End Math & Technology Project. Currently UniKids delivers up to 5,000 pounds of supplies to nearly 6,000 students.

IU Southeast’s partnership with UniKids dates back to a chance encounter five years ago. As Pelle recalls, she was attending World Fest in Louisville as part of the Culture Van experience organized by Campus Life. She ran into the mother of a former mentee, who introduced her to Mareligne and her vision for UniKids.

“We became fast friends, and have worked together since,” Pelle said.

As in years past, Mareligne will come to campus and brew the coffee in the traditional Ethiopian way.

“Our coffee ceremony symbolizes togetherness where time slows down as we gather and enjoy each other’s company,” Mareligne said. “We discuss issues far and near during the one to two hours it takes to complete the ceremony.”

The collection and ceremony are innovative ways for the institution to connect with non-traditional students and honor the unique contribution they make to the campus community.

“Non-traditional students enhance the diversity of the student population on campus,” said Pelle. “They have spent more years employed, they are managing households, some have military experience and they are raising children—because of all that, non-traditional students engaging in classroom discussions often view the world through a different lens and provide fresh perspectives for traditional students.”

Pelle, who recently received a Distinguished Service Award (professional/technical), attends the ANTSHE conference each year, and usually invites a student or two to attend the event. She has presented with the students at the conference for the past three years. At the upcoming 2017 conference in Kennesaw, Ga., she will be a speaker at the Ladies Tea@2 event, sharing insights on the women who have motivated her to be a productive leader. Pelle and IU Southeast student Amy Donahue will also present, in both a poster and academic session, on the topic, “Bring the Family Along: Engaging and Connecting Non-traditional Students and Their Families to the University and to Their Higher Educational Journey.”

Pelle’s ability to link the academic with the practical and the social is key to attracting and retaining non-traditional students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of non-traditional students attending college both on campuses and online is growing faster than any other demographic. Consequently, there is a growing demand for programs and services that focus more on this demographic, now more than ever.

For Pelle, that trend intersects with the constantly rising value that adult learners bring to campus.

“Through their interaction with non-traditional students, younger students are exposed to a  different world view, and become engaged in the adult students’ lives as classmates, work study colleagues, study buddies and friends,” Pelle said. “These bonds improve the overall holistic college experience, both inside and outside the classroom.”

According to Pelle, the collection connects non-traditional students with the larger mission of the university, and also provides a way for them to have an impact in the wider world.

“I think non-traditional students, who are so busy with school, work, homework and family responsibilities don’t have enough time for philanthropy or for volunteering, and this gives them a sense of contributing or being involved in the global community,” Pelle said. “Everybody wants to help, even the busy, and this gives our students a chance to show they care.”

ANTSHE is an organization that supports non-traditional students seeking to advance in their professional careers through furthering their college education. ANTSHE strives to attract students members to help them further their transition to receive an education by providing them with a support network, resources, and scholarship opportunities. ANTSHE provides support to academic professionals and institutions that support non-traditional students by providing professional development, publishing, and networking opportunities with an elite community of other academic professionals, and much more.


Louisville Area Donates School Supplies for Ethiopia’s Most Needy Kids

LOUISVILLE,KY – UniKids has ready 3,700 lbs of school supplies to shipto Ethiopia in early September for orphanages and schools that help underprivileged children. Two non-profit recipient organizations in Ethiopia will receive and distribute these supplies to nearly 5,000 students.

Backpacks, paper, writing pads, calculators, scissors,pens, pencils, crayons, markers and erasers are some of the items to be shipped.The recipient organizations provide support to about 5,000 students (inorphanages and impoverished families) in the City of Addis Ababa and ruralareas of Ethiopia. Without these supplies, students might attend class withjust a piece of paper, pencil or pen. Parents often will not send their children without supplies.  For some students these supplies will add color and dimension to their education;for others, they will make the difference to enable them to go to school.

From an outreach in 2007, Louisville Area schools,organizations and individuals started getting involved in sharing withless-fortunate children in Ethiopia. In response so far more than 60 classrooms in Louisville, Jeffersonville, IN, and Monroe County participate each year to donate gently used and new school supplies.

UniKids, is a 501©3 non-profit organization, founded in 2010 by Ethiopian native and Louisville citizen, Senait Mareligne.  UniKids collects gently used or new school supplies and books from area schools, then ships them to students inorphanages and under privileged families in Ethiopia, The Gambia, and other developing countries.

UniKids Update

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